GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Dozens of fugitives wanted for a variety of charges, including violent crimes like homicide and sexual assault, were arrested by federal agents during a sting in Gaston County, North Carolina, and York County, South Carolina, federal officials said.
The initiative, known as "Operation: Washout" was a partnership between 19 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in the Carolinas, resulting in 91 arrests, the Department of Justice announced. Charges for the fugitives included assault, homicide, robbery, kidnapping, child sexual assault, drug distribution and illegal guns. Investigators said the operation took place over an 11-day period.
"These are the worst of the worst," Chris Edge, acting U.S. Marshal in the Western District of North Carolina, said. "These are people that are repeat offenders that have the most egregious crimes, the longest rap sheets.”
U.S. Attorney Dena King said local enforcement agents provided federal and state authorities with information, who were then able to use their resources to track the suspects down.
“Our local law enforcement partners, they know the hot spots in the communities where violent crime is a problem," King said. "They have the information and they have the intelligence."
The U.S. Marshals said a total of 173 warrants were served. Of the suspects who were captured, five were wanted for homicides, including a man charged with killing two people at a daycare in Kannapolis. Marlon Tyrone Anderson was arrested on July 9 by U.S. Marshals in Lexington, North Carolina. Investigators arrested 13 people on firearms charges, 23 for assault, 59 for narcotics and 16 "self-described" gang members.
A total of eight weapons were seized during the operation, some of which were stolen, a U.S. Marshals spokesperson said.
“With the rise of violent crime, it’s a problem that's too large for any one agency to tackle," King said. "I think it’s a problem for any one jurisdiction to tackle, and so all of us must do our part.”
The Justice Department held a 2 p.m. news conference Wednesday to detail the operation and how they were able to locate the suspects.
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